Government Spies

by Miguel de Icaza

What I found fascinating about the accidental leak of the intelligence agencies in the US was not the dollar amount (48 billion, 60 billion, to me they are just very large numbers) but the poor quality of the powerpoint presentation.

I wont rehash the argument that powerpoint presentations are bad, we all know that by now, but the unclassified data is fairly revealing.

Slides like this look like a 13-year old shrine to their crush.

That slide is an embarrassment to the whole human species. Someone please hide that before the aliens invade or we will lose our chances of being taken seriously.

It seems like the agencies are a few cycles behind the latest computing fads. I fully expect the CIA to launch a "Extreme Spying" program next year: two spies working together to spy, fund some militant group or torture while the one making side comments and writing tests.

Posted on 10 Jun 2007

Little Snippet of News

by Miguel de Icaza

For the Windows.Forms crowd out there using Moma, this is form Jonathan Pobst's weekly status report:

This week:
- Implemented AutoSize for: Form, Button
- Finished 2.0 versions of: Button, ColumnHeader, Splitter, ScrollBar, 
ScrollableControl, Panel, and GroupBox.

Winforms 2.0 Autosize is soon coming to your nearest Linux workstation.

Mono's LINQ support

Marek now has where, group, into implement for LINQ expressions on SVN.

Posted on 08 Jun 2007

Paris, June 21st

by Miguel de Icaza

Bon jour France!

I will be attending a replay of Microsoft Mix'07 in Paris on June 21st at Le Cirque d'hiver.

We are working around the clock to demo Silverlight on Linux (our own open source version of it).

You can track the progress in our screenshots page. It would be best if I could figure out how to make a video of it so you could see what we have come up with so far (Atsushi Enomoto, Chris Toshok, Everaldo Canuto, Jackson Harper, Jeff Stedfast, Rolf Bjarne, Sebastien Pouliot and myself).

Question: Whats the hip thing to use to record video on Linux these days? Many years ago I used a tool that generated flash files but I do not remember what it was nor where in the machine it lives.

Spare time: I got some time to kill on the 20th and the 22nd, and the morning of the 23rd, anyone interested in getting together and discuss all things Mono, Linux, Gnome?

Posted on 07 Jun 2007

Rodrigo, Mark and Marek Join Novell's Mono Team

by Miguel de Icaza

A few more developers have joined the Mono team at Novell.

Rodrigo Kumpera and Mark Probst have joined the Mono team to work on the Mono Virtual Machine and will be working with Dick, Massi, Paolo and Zoltan to work on various tasks: improving our performance, reducing the memory usage, port maintenance.

As warm up exercises Rodrigo is completing the Mono VM verifier and Mark Probst is implementing the Silverlight security system for our Mono-based implementation.

Marek Safar, who has been a long-time contributor to the C# compiler (he implemented CLS compliance, did a big push to improve our error and warning system, implemented extension methods and C# 3 delegate type inference) will be joining us to work on the C# 3 compiler (building on a lot of the work that Scott did).

Silverlight Security

The Silverlight security system (described here, here and here in Shawn Farkas' blog) promises to be very useful.

Unlike CAS that was hard to understand, the Silverlight security model is very simple and can be explained in a couple of minutes. This should be useful very useful to folks running untrusted code like SecondLife.

Posted on 04 Jun 2007

Flight of the Conchords on HBO

by Miguel de Icaza

Back in 2005 I saw an amazing half hour stand-up show on HBO with a band called the Flight of the Conchords, New Zealands fourth most popular digi-folk paradists.

They now got their own show, this is one of the best news for the summer.

Fans of the Conchords can watch an episode here here.

Posted on 04 Jun 2007

Porting Windows.Forms application to Linux using Mono

by Miguel de Icaza

Jonathan Pobst has written a terrific guide that explains how Windows.Forms developers can port their Windows.Forms applications to Linux using Mono.

Check it out.

Posted on 04 Jun 2007

Interview with Michael Meeks

by Miguel de Icaza

Daniel James interviews Michael Meeks. Michael has been involved in the desktop starting with Gnome from around 1998 when he single handedly wrote the Gnumeric Excel import functionality.

He currently leads the effort at Novell, this is truly a great interview. Michael radiates excitement in this interview, it is a pleasure to read.

Posted on 02 Jun 2007

C# and Silverlight

by Miguel de Icaza

InfoQ is reporting that:

"First of all, C# won't be fully supported in Silverlight. Unlike VB, Python, Ruby, and JavaScript, C# does not support the Dynamic Language Runtime and cannot be hosted for runtime compilation in Silverlight."

This is a bit of a stretch. What happens is that Silverlight will ship with compiler/interpreters that can compile source code written in Javascript, Python, Ruby and Visual Basic to native code.

But Silverlight will not include a C# compiler on the client side. You will still be able to author libraries and assemblies with C# and write your application with it, you just wont be able to dump a C# source file over the network and expect that to be compiled and ran on the client machine.

That being said, Mono does have a C# compiler written in C# and we could ship that compiler, and people could use this as a dependency if they wanted to.

Now, what would be an adorable hack would be to relicense Mono's C# compiler commercially to Microsoft and have them distribute it for Silverlight ;-)

Thanks to some fine contributions, Mono's C# 3.0 compiler is in great shape (missing some things, but they will be done in no time).

Posted on 01 Jun 2007

Blowback, Seymour Hersh inteview

by Miguel de Icaza

From the Seymour Hersh interview on the US and Lebanon.

GORANI: The Senora government, in order to counter the influence of Hezbollah in Lebanon would be covertly according to your reporting funding groups like Fatah al-Islam that they're having issues with right now?

HERSH: Unintended consequences once again, yes.


HERSH: Well, the United States was deeply involved. This was a covert operation that Bandar ran with us. Don't forget, if you remember, you know, we got into the war in Afghanistan with supporting Osama bin Laden, the mujahadin back in the late 1980s with Bandar and with people like Elliott Abrams around, the idea being that the Saudis promised us they could control -- they could control the jihadists so we spent a lot of money and time, the United States in the late 1980s using and supporting the jihadists to help us beat the Russians in Afghanistan and they turned on us. And we have the same pattern, not as if there's any lessons learned. It's the same pattern, using the Saudis again to support jihadists, Saudis assuring us they can control these various group, the groups like the one that is in contact right now in Tripoli with the government.


HERSH: [...] Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, has been very articulate about it. We're in the business now of supporting the Sunnis anywhere we can against the Shia, against the Shia in Iran, against the Shia in Lebanon, that is Nasrullah. Civil war. We're in a business of creating in some places, Lebanon in particular, a sectarian violence.

The blowback discussion seems to be the political equivalent mistake of introducing new species and then wondering what went wrong.

Except biologists do not get to claim that the rabbit population in New Zealand exploded and became a problem because "Rabbits hate our freedoms". There had to be a downside to being a scientist.

Lebanon War of 06

Last year, while the US claimed they were doing everything in their power to negotiate stopping the '06 Lebanon War (and as usual in these cases, taking as much time to show up and enforce anything and block any attempts at real progress) those that got their news from outlets outside the Foxosphere-of-influence [*] knew that these claims were far from honest.

Its nice to find out -again- that we were right and they were as usual lying.

Once again, am shocked! shocked!

[*] Foxosphere: About 90% of the news outlets in the US, with notable exceptions like the comedy central fake news line up.

Summer Wars

Last year I read an interesting article about managing wars from a PR standpoint.

Just like Bush administration waited over the summer to introduce the Iraq War, as "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August." There is a similar rule for launching unpopular wars and attacks, although I can not longer find the article anymore, the thesis is simple: launch those attacks during the summer.

You introduce these during the summer because Universities in the US are on vacation, and Universities are a central hub of information and organization.

Lets test the theory and see see what this summer has in store for us.

Posted on 01 Jun 2007

The other side of Giuliani

by Miguel de Icaza

Rolling Stone magazine is running Giuliani: Worse than Bush article (from reddit).

Printer friendly version here.

Posted on 01 Jun 2007

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